There's no way to sugarcoat this: we stink at picking national games against the spread. We thought that Baylor would easily cover the 9.5-point spread. They lost by 32. That blunder brings us to 9-14 on the season. That level of success may be acceptable in baseball or meteorology, but it doesn't cut it for wagering on football games. We may have changed the name of the piece, but our advice remains the same: when we pick a college football game, Don't Bet On It!
We're sort of stuck picking this week's National Game of Interest by default. Outside of the Southeastern Conference, there simply aren't many competitive or compelling games on the slate for the last full weekend of college-football action. So we're stuck picking The Game: No. 3 Ohio State (-14.5) at Michigan
The pick: Ohio State -14.5
Why you should care: This rivalry is so intense that it inspires people who have no business talking about college football to take a stand. It famously involves a coach so dedicated that he refused to buy gasoline in the other state. (And that's the least crazy thing Woody Hayes ever did. Seriously. Go read up on him.) An otherwise level-headed friend of mine has burned bridges with a superior over this game. It's a big deal, and it's the epitome of everything we love about college football: irrational hatred, history, and pageantry.
Rationale: The Buckeyes are going to destroy the Wolverines. You know it. I know it. The American people know it. I hate Urban Meyer, but he can beat a team who thought it was a good idea to hire Al Borges as an offensive coordinator.
Bonus Picks: I like Duke +6 and UCLA +3.5. The rationale is irrelevant because, as discussed above, we are terrible at this.